- AProjectionRound 1
- YearRS Sophomore
- Hand9 ½
- Arm32 ¼
Strong Points: Productive (49-760-6 receiving in 2018). Very good TE size. Athletic -- outstanding body control and speed for the position. Good strength and power. Very good in-line blocker who can get movement. Solid route runner who can make the difficult catch. Good-to-very good play speed. Can play as a "Y" or flexed out.
Weak Points: Only a third-year sophomore -- is he mentally ready to compete against men?
The Way We See It: It's rare when one school boasts the two best players at the same position, but that's the case in Iowa's Hockenson and Noah Fant. Hockenson is the bigger and stronger of the two and has growth potential to 260 pounds. With his size, strength, speed and athleticism, he can play as a "Y" or as a "move" tight end. That gives him a lot of versatility in most offenses. Hockenson is still young, but he is physically ready to play, doing everything well that is asked of him: block, run good routes and consistently catch the ball. He will be the first or second tight end drafted, depending on where Fant is selected. Which Hawkeye goes first will depend on how the different clubs value their traits and which fits their offense better. Hockenson would be an upgrade and start immediately on most teams.
Hub Arkush: In today's NFL, most tight ends are scouted to fit one of three positions or at least determine they are "move" or "in-line" tight ends. Hockenson is the rare prospect who can do it all, raising the almost unfair comps to future Hall of Famers Gronkowsi and Witten. He is 6-5 and 252 pounds with plenty of frame to add another 10-12 pounds of muscle, and he is already a crushing blocker who can also split the seam and make catches anywhere on the field. Hockenson has good (not great) speed, but he does have unique athleticism for a man his size and will line up anywhere on the field -- in line, fullback, in the slot or out wide. He does need to continue refining his technique as a blocker and receiver, but his ceiling for the position is as high as it gets.
Best Fit: Jaguars, Lions, Bengals, Packers
Red Flags: Young and still very inexperienced. Has a tendency to get carried away as plays develop, losing technique, focus.